Convention Mention: The NRA Show

Haha, you totally thought we meant National Rifle Association. Of course not! It’s the National Restaurant Association, and it’s happening right now (yesterday through to Sunday). If that weren’t enough, the Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is overlapping it, running from tomorrow to Tuesday. We’d like to say it’s pretty great that all these food-related conventions take place in Chicago, because they don’t have to; there are a lot of cities with lots of convention square footage that are cheaper (and in fact, we’re starting to lose a few shows to Las Vegas), but evidently, we have sex appeal.

And boy, are there sexy things happening at the shows this weekend. For starters, the R,H-M show got a personality no less famous and relevant than freakin’ Fred Thompson, former Senator/current D.A. on Law & Order/future President (!?!), to give the keynote address on Sunday. Now, Fred Thompson has a pretty extensive biography in government and entertainment, but nothing in particular in his history to do with restaurants, hotels or motels. Convention chair William C. Anton explains, “We are honored to have Mr. Thompson at the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and look forward to sharing his insight into politics, Hollywood, foreign relations and life.” LIFE. Of course.

You know what else is happening? The Ice Carving Classic. Hell yeah, and the grand prize is $2.5k, no small shavings. And we bet the Illinois Restaurant Association Luncheon on Monday is going to be all aflutter with rumors about the potential foie gras ban takedown at City Council.

Plus, the Sun-Times has the scoop on two new products being debuted at the show: one’s a piece of software that will let restaurants know when your table will be ready (no, seriously), and the other is an “anti-griddle” with a surface temp of -30F, enough to stop even Grant Achatz. By the way, did we mention he’ll be doing the demos?

We’ll have more coverage next week, but we have to go home and lie down right now - bad Chinese food last night, don’t ask. Have a good weekend!

NRA Show [Official Site]

Fred Thompson to Speak at 2007 NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show [Official Site]

NRA Show Events [Official Site]

Software gets restaurant waits down to a science [Sun-Times]

[Photo: This looks like the fallout shelter symbol - My NRA Show: Start Networking Now]


Convention Mention: The NRA Show